Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday's Coffee Rx

Need a prescription for some coffee?
Personally, I don't need an excuse or a prescription, but I do take it every morning, and all day as needed.

Caffeine: po Q4H prn= per os (by mouth) every four hours as needed.

The Great Physician knows when your spirit faints and when your soul sags.

What would God prescribe for you today?



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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Great Grandma Susie's Remedies

I was diagnosed this week with asthma. Apparently my great grandmother Susie suffered the same ailment.
About 1910 Susannah Gehman Gregory
Is it any wonder she couldn't breath? Look at that corset! 
I love this picture of her. 

When I posted on Facebook this week about my new diagnosis, my Aunt Edith reminded me of her home remedies that included exclusively drinking goat's milk, taking garlic, and apparently she smoked a pipe with alfalfa! Who knew?

So, I researched 19th century remedies for asthma. It's quite shocking. I feel bad for my ancestors. Here's just a few of the popular remedies I found from Henry Hyde Salter's On Asthma written in 1860: (this is not meant to take the place of modern recommended medical advice, seek your on healthcare provider for your own care and advice.)

1. Tobacco, inhaled and held until relaxation or collapse; to which some accounts reported the collapse was preferred to the symptoms of the asthma attack.
2. Ipecac, causing the vomiting of phlegm
3. Opium, causing relaxation of the spasms and nervousness
4. Hemp, also causing relaxation

And my personal favorite:
5. Coffee--strong and black, best on an empty stomach!

Without antibiotics, and with these therapies for a potentially deadly condition, it's amazing so many survived. My great grandmother Susie lived to be 92!

What old family remedies can you share?

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
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Find me on: Twitter








Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What on EARTH is Nanowrimo?

I don't know either. The weird name stands for something. LOL But what I DO know, for all you loyal readers out there, it's like Extreme Boot Camp for writers. Basically, you write a novel in a month. Yep. That simple. Write away, write away, write away. 50,000 words in 30 days. So maybe not QUITE a novel since a full-length novel is closer to 90,000 words. Still. Break it down and do the math, that's like: 1,666.66666666667 words a day. Or in my case, 2,272.7272727273 words a day if you remove weekends from the equation.

Yes. I'm one of those nutso writers who's going for it. And I know weekends at our house ... they aren't the kind where you wake on Saturday AM, grab your coffee and settle in on the couch for a blissful day of writing. That WAS my house for the first 10 years of marriage until we got the bright idea of adding children to the equation. I love them. Like crazy! But children + writing = insanity.

So... Anne and I love how you faithful readers enjoy sneak peeks into a writer's world. Here's some of what I've done to prepare for a month of mass word count:


  1. Purchased copious amounts of coffee ("copious" is my new favorite word. I'm overusing it everywhere)
  2. Outlined my hero and heroine. I know where they're from, what drives them, their darkest moment in life, how it formed them, their biggest ache, largest dream, smallest goal, and what happens if none of it is realized
  3. Researched. Just enough research to get me through my 1st draft. I'm not a rabid researcher. I love history but I suck at details. So I've got enough to make it passable and I can add the wealth and richness on my edits
  4. Created my villain. What makes him tick? What makes you want to empathize with him? Does he redeem himself somehow in the end or is he just that bad?
  5. Crafted a rough draft in my head. Scenes. Interactions. Events. 
And so, as November 1st comes, I'll be buckling down and bonding with my laptop. How do I do that when I work full time as an HR Director, have 2 kids under the age of 4 and several commitments at church? Yep. I'm not entirely sure! LOL 50K is a huge number for me. But why not try, eh? I usually write over lunch, in the evening when the kids are finally in bed, in the car waiting outside for my appointment to arrive at our lunch meetings, etc. I'm thankful I'm not a writer who needs massive blocks of time to be productive. If I were ... ummm....yeah ... 

SO!! What's a big challenge you've taken on before? A marathon? A solo in front of hundreds? Do share! I could use some cheerleaders ;)


______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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Monday, October 28, 2013

"Countless Wonders"

Take time to count His countless wonders. It's easy to count our anxieties, list our complaints, dwell on our worries. But have you taken time lately to consider the endless wonders God has set in motion?

I was home sick recently on a Sunday morning and turned my ipod to my favorite worship album. Nothing interrupts routine life like an illness, but I considered perhaps God was tapping my spirit, trying to get my attention. When I clicked on Chris Tomlin's "Countless Wonders"YouTube, images of God's handiwork, His majesty, His great power and love, flooded my thoughts and filled my spirit with peace.

Take time. Dwell on His handiwork.







Psalm 19: 1-7
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5     It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Book Report: Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

Free Give Away: add your name to our follower list, "like" our Facebook pages, or make a comment and check back next week!
Last week's winner of CJ Vox's spa package and Joanne Bischof's  book is: Gail H

Jessica's debut release is: 
~~Clever & Convoluted
~~Classic Good vs. Evil
~~Authentic Gothic English Lit

By habit, first person is not my first choice. But I stepped out of my zone and was rewarded beyond imagining. Dotta's voice is decidedly reminiscent of Jane Austen. I was also reminded of Frances Hodgson Burnett's Little Princess and Secret Garden, though her heroine is a young woman instead of a child, and Dotta explores a much deeper point of view that is fresh and page-turning.

True confession: I bought the book because I loved the cover.
I pressed past the first person because I believe reading outside your comfort zone is a worthy endeavor. I kept reading because Jessica Dotta manages to keep you on your toes, guessing at every turn. This is a wonderful book to read by the fire, on a damp, dark night.

Set in 1835 England, Julia Elliston is a seventeen-year-old unmarried orphan set on securing her future in a time when women were considered by law to be legal property of their father's, husband's, and guardians. With little more than grief-ridden half-truths and fanciful memories, she has less than two months to work herself out her anonymous guardian's plan to secret her away to Scotland as a servant. When her dream to marry her childhood sweetheart is crushed, she aligns herself with a powerful dowager to secure a husband. Unknown to her, Miss Elliston's life has beeb entwined in treachery and deception that only the two most powerful men in England have the knowledge and truth to untangle. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel their secrets.

But evil masquerades as righteous truth and knowledge can be wielded as a deadly weapon. How will Miss Elliston know the difference?

A few favorite lines display Dotta's ability to take the reader deep into the heroine's experience:
"We are not meant to take gnawing pain and cocoon it inside, for the ache only grows. That first sob rent its silk envelope, releasing the reservoir of tears. Rare are the moments when we purge the anguish of our souls. There is nothing dainty or feminine about it. Harsh, bestial sobs wracked my body as I sank to the ground, finally acknowledging my loss."


Jessica Dotta has always been fascinated by the intricacies of society that existed in England from the Regency through the Edwardian era. She writes in a manner that blends past and modern fiction techniques. She lives in the Nashville area and works as a freelance media consultant and publicist. Her work is said to have the humor of Austen, yet the drama of a Bronte.







Give Away Questions:
Are you a Jane Austen lover like Jessica and me? 
If so, what's your favorite?
Did you read Secret Garden, Little Princess, or Bronte when you were young?
Have you ever been to England?



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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday Schmoozing

I'm coveting this. You have no idea how much. To the point that this coffee cozy has consumed my mind. Buttons and brown yarn. Really? How does that consume my brain? But don't your hands just ACHE to wrap around this cozy? Ever cozy I've ever seen are for recycled cups not coffee mugs.

I NEED THIS COZY!!!

I'm actually feeling like schmoozing and offering to trade coffee beans for a cozy if anyone can figure out how to make this!!

Have you ever been consumed with want for a material item? :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ear Infections and Jane Austin

I have a problem. And it started three weeks ago when I got sick. It escalated into bulging ear drums over the weekend and the fear my left ear drum would burst. So, I did what every 37 year old, mother of two, full time Director of HR, and self-proclaimed professional coffee drinker would do...I called my mommy.

She came right over. Tucked me in, took the kids and the DVD player was flicked on with a period film I haven't seen in years. Sense and Sensibility. I was really in the mood for North and South but Anne has that DVD and I live in the boondocks so streaming Internet and Netflix is out of the question.

My problem? Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant. Oh, their good actors. Emma Thompson is fabulous actually. But she looked so ... old. Eleanor was good and proper, yes, and a spinster, but not nearing 40. At least, I didn't take it that way. And Hugh Grant? I couldn't get his past transgressions out of my head. Not like he's the first leading man to take a jaunt down the street with the wrong woman, but still. And he's so...goofy looking. Dashing? His teeth are too straight and his eyes droop. In fact, he'd play Dopey really well on Snow White. Then there was their on-screen chemistry. Oh shucks, who am I kidding? There was no chemistry. It was like watching ketchup and chocolate run together. They just don't mix.

My other problem? Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman, He's Professor Snape, for goodness' sake and I'll never get those swirling black capes out of my head when he pushed Professor Dumbledore to his death. And Kate? Jack....oh...Jack. It's like pairing Rose and Professor Snapes together and thank goodness they didn't share an on screen kiss because their on-screen chemistry was like mixing cinnamon and mustard.

So. Did I enjoy the movie? Ok. Fine. It's a period film, of course I did. But the entire time I ached for North and South.  

Have you ever watched a movie or read a book where the casting just disappointed you and you couldn't connect with the characters?


______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What Do You Know?

They say, authors should write what they know.

I know country living. I'm a born and bred country girl, raised on a dirt road with corn fields, hog farms, and hay bales--coon huntin', canning, gardening, and making do off the land. It's what I know...


Like Jaime, I live in the Midwest. For us, if you don't have one of these in your yard, you must be a townie...


My stories are full of heroes with back woods know-how and a gritty connection to the land. How can they not be when it's a regular occurrence to see your men getting ready to fill the freezer for the year.


It's been in my family for generations. Our basement is adorned with the proof. My son's buck, and this mount with my husband's, my father's, and my grandfather's antlers (not horns FYI--those are for cows), and the one from my great-grandfather resides at my parent's home next door.


Jaime and I are sister's from another mother. She wasn't shocked at all the sleep next to a bear skin rug on the wall beside her guest bed when she visited me last month. It's not just any chick who gets that! (and please don't call PETA!)

If you are a country girl, you get it. If you're not, it's okay.

But I'll bet anyone likes to read of a hero who knows his domain like a woodsman does. There's just something about gunpowder and the smell of woodsmoke, pan fish frying at midnight and the odor of gun-cleaner, the flexing of his forearms as he filets a wild turkey and the mouth watering of marinated venison on the grill, flannel shirts and cockle burs, and the twinkle in his eye when he twills a great hunting tale.

These are the things I love. These are the things I was raised on. These are the things I know and write into my stories.

If you wrote a story, what would your hero know about?

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday's Devo: Forget Not

Psalm 103:2-5 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.


Forget not.
Who pardons.
Who heals.
Who redeems.
Who crowns.
Who satisfies.
Who renews.

How is it that we forget so easily? How shall we remind ourselves?
Tell it again and again. Make ceremony over it. Say it out loud for all to hear.
Forget not.

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
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Find me on: Goodreads
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Friday, October 18, 2013

Book Report & Giveaway: My Hope is Found, by Joanne Bischof

Winner of Elizabeth Camden's book drawing from last Friday is: AMY C

Oh....baby. THE LONG AWAITED FINALE of The Cadence Kodak of Grace trilogy by the illustrious, beautiful, amazing Joanne Bischof!

Isn't it everything you wanted? I don't know, is it? Gideon and Lonnie have been through more in their marriage, then not so marriage, and now ... Lonnie's heart might be moving on to a more stable, faith based man and Gideon prays to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and piece them back together with his name as the glue.

“A tender story, told with loving care, My Hope Is Found takes many a twist and turn, as Lonnie must choose between two good men. Her struggle is genuine, and the outcome remains deliciously uncertain until the joy-filled ending.” Liz Curtis Higgs

If you aren't familiar with this trilogy, you'll journey in book 1 through a marriage forced upon two young people who are anything but lovers. Gideon and Lonnie's rocky start isn't the foundation of true love. When book 2 winds its way to your bookshelf you'll wonder what will happen when Gideon is faced with a wife he didn't know he had...and it's not Lonnie. Broken love, broken souls all in the setting of the Appalachians.

The character depth is so layered it is impossible to do a thorough review. You'll ache with them, cry with them, hate with them, and want to crawl under your covers and never come out again. You'll fall in love right along with Lonnie as she learns to love, loses, then finds love again in a man who embodies what her heart has longed for. And yet--he's not Gideon. You'll learn to despise Gideon in his selfish need, love Gideon for his lost childhood, hurt with Gideon as he learns how God can be Redeemer, and groan with him as hope is ripped from his grasp.

Ugh. There is nothing more I can adequately say without giving away spoiler after spoiler after spoiler.

So here's the dealio!! Leave a comment and let me know which one of the three books you would like to win! If your name is drawn, you'll get the title pick of your choice! Book #1 so you can meet Lonnie and Gideon? Book #2 so you can continue their journey? Book #3 so you can see if Gideon finds healing and if Lonnie finds the love God finally intended for her?

AND  That's not all! I've teamed up with one of our loyal readers CJ Vox Co.to include a little piece of spa heaven to go with your good read! So you'll also receive a 4 oz pumpkin spice lotion,  sugar scrub,  lip scrub and and balm!


Ready? Leave a comment. Now. Go. Do it! You KNOW you want to! :)


______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

Find me on Twitter
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday's Coffee--Gesundheit!

Be sure to check out yesterday's part 2 added by Jaime late in the day about what she writes!

"You know how helpless you feel if you have a full cup of coffee in your hand and you start to sneeze?"--Jean Kerr

Wish I could claim that as my original quote, but no. Acchooo!


Jaime and I are both fighting yucky colds this morning.
Between Starbucks, Nyquill, and losing my voice, we just have two goals---to get through the day without spilling our coffee, and to keep our voices long enough to do all the essentials at work.
So, here's raisin' our mugs to you all, have a great Not-Quite-TGIF day!

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Do We Write - Part 2

SO! PART TWO! What do I write? Anne did such a great post yesterday and what's with her cool Pinterest board? :) How do I follow up after that? Seriously, I've had the privilege of reading Anne's stuff and I know, I know, I'm her friend and sure, I'm biased, blah, blah, blah ... but she's amazing. I love her voice and her stories. I hope you can read them some day!

Ok--moi? I write Historical Romantic Suspense. Basically stated, if you read my books you'd have a healthy dose of God-glorifying romance and lots of suspense and action all wrapped up in the Victorian era. :) 

I've loved historical fiction since I was a kid. I devoured writers like Tracie Peterson, Tracie Peterson and Tracie Peterson. Yes, she's like my all time favorite writer. But then, I met Colleen Coble...her stories snagged me. Like I finally understood what I felt I'd been missing. INTRIGUE. So I sandwiched it all together in my own private little genre that has actually be growing in the actual publishing world of late. Notable said authors would be: Elizabeth Ludwig, Carol Cox, Colleen Coble, Elizabeth Camden, Jody Hedlund is becoming more so ... it's exciting!!!

My first book was set in Milwaukee, under the rich heritage of the German shipping industry and the extreme German prejudice in "Little Germany" and a thwarted love. My next two books are set in one of my favorite regions, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Lake Superior. Dangerous and deadly silver mining and haunted lighthouses. My current work in progress (WIP) will be started on November 1st and I'm diving into the world of the circus, sabotaged high ropes, dark entertainers, and a really-rough-around-edges hero who is a new Believer and smokes cigars while reading his Bible.

But .... I'm still unpublished and I'm working on obtaining an agent. We'll see what happens. Both Anne and I are in the same shoes. Your prayers as readers mean SO MUCH to us we work to go where GOD would have us go in our writing experience. We ache to share our stories with you. I just received a rejection letter last night from an agent ... the ebb and flow in the writing world is sometimes painful and disappointing. You question whether you suck as a writer, to whether you're wasting your family's time and should just write for fun, and then why on earth you have such an insatiable drive to be published? So yeah ... if nothing else, Anne and I covet your prayers on this crazy journey we call writing!

So tell me, who's your favorite Inspirational Author?

______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

Find me on Twitter
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What Do We Write?

If someone would have asked me during my high school history class if I liked history, while my teacher droned on in monotone about factoids that I only needed to pass the class--my answer would have been a resounding no! Hello, boring!

by permission: www.freedigitalphotos.net

But plain and simple:  I write historical romance.

The balance tipped in history's favor despite Mr. Riley's history class.
I've fallen in love with history.

I started reading historical romance in the ninth grade when Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly was released, setting off a Little-House-on-the-Prairie-Lover's scramble to devour the prairie romances filled with wonderful lessons for life, love, and faith.

Sometimes I actually have to pinch myself and ask how in the world I---little me--started writing historical romance. I struggled to read. I sat in agony and tears at the kitchen table with my first big writing assignment in eighth grade. I hated high school history class. I have a day job I love. It's not as if my platter isn't full without writing.

But, then there's this burning curiosity that invades my mind.....how did we get like this, who came before us, why did it matter, what was their story, how did it change them, why did they move across the ocean or the continent, what made them war with one another, what did it mean to them, how did their choices affect my life....our ancestors, our families....

That's why I fell in love with history.

My writing started fourteen years ago after a vivid dream I scribbled on a scrap paper. Two weeks later I found it, explained the idea to my husband and put my pencil to the page.

I write Christian historical romance set in the 19th century. 
My stories are flavored with rural charm and country living.



I've made Pinterest boards for each of my stories. Take a peek if you're curious what my stories might feel like:
Book One
Book Two
Book Three Ideas

Doesn't this image for my hero in Book Two just make your imagination roll?



Stay tuned, Jaime will share what she writes.

Readers: tell us your favorite genres!

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter





Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Would you slow down?


I know I'm going to get a bunch "you're crazy's" but I can't wait for winter. I love when the world slows down its pace and settles into slumbering bliss, tucked warmly by fireplaces, with feather comforters and hot cocoa. Right now it seems the world is moving at a crazed pace, and everyone is hyped up on excessive amounts of Red Bull or something.

Yesterday WALKING through Walmart I was almost run over by a lady in a white Chrysler going somewhere - fast. I wanted to scream after her, "Yeah! and I'm carrying a child too!" but I didn't. See, I know one of these days, stress will catch up to her and be her own form of self-induced wicked punishment. In the meantime, I did some pretty amazing gymnastics and got out of the way. Yeah for being able to balance an 18 month old on my hip while inadvertently doing the chicken dance and pushing a grocery cart.

And the kids! The youth kids are back in school. My cell phone is dinging continuously throughout the evening. I was text messaging with one of the kids from youth group last night for 3 hours. THREE HOURS! Yes, I was having a blast because deep inside, I relate to Freshmen on many levels--their maturity being one of them. However, my fingers were forced to fly so fast I probably could've texted the Declaration of Independence in 5.1 seconds if the text messaging format gave me more than 150 characters.

Here there and everywhere goes the world in summer as it graduates into Autumn. Speedy Gonzales looks like a slow moving turtle these days. And the worst of it is, it's hard to relax when I see others moving at the speed of light. I like to stay busy, but not FAST PACED can't catch a breath, busy.

So last night I snuggled on my couch, pretended there was a blizzard outside, and buried myself in a book. I read and ate homemade applesauce and read some more. The world may have been rushing, but I didn't see it.

Do you need to slow down today?

______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

Find me on Twitter
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Find me on Pinterest


Monday, October 14, 2013

I Lay Me Down and Rest

The alarm rings at 5:30 a.m.
It's another Monday morning.
Another start to a too-busy week.
Last week I pulled 48 hrs of work.
Ten hours of edits.
Had dinner with the hubs.
Took my son's senior pics.
Then took him shopping.
Did eight loads of laundry.
Fought a fever, fed a cold.

When the alarm rings this morning, and my feet hit the floor,
I pray it will be the same, yet different.

I thank Him for a great job.
A fun story to write.
An amazing family.
A family I'm blessed to
  ...cook for
   ...do laundry for
    ...clean up after....

Yet, deep in my soul,
I need it to be different.
Even my flagging immune system knows
My throat scratches
My bronchus screams
It knows....I need rest

Rest for my soul
my spirit.

There is a spirit hunger we all thirst to quench....to be known
To rest in being known.

Psalms 139

1You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.


That the Lord knows me that intimately, and still loves me....
Means I can get up and face another day
Another week
Even more laundry!

He knows where I've been, where I'm going...

by permission: www.freedigitalphotos.net

And tonight, I will both lay me down and rest
in peace.

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter



Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Report & Giveaway: Into the Whirlwind, by Elizabeth Camden

Hello Chicago fire! Wowsers. Elizabeth Camden takes her readers front and center into the wild night when flames consumed the city and collapsed the lives of so many.

Mollie Knox was one of its victims, as was her father's watch factory. And Zach Kazmarek was unlikely hero who sweeps to the rescue in the form of a savy attorney working for her enemy.

I really enjoyed how the book began and swept the reader right into the agony of the fire and losing her father's livelihood. Mollie's burden of responsibility for the veterans of the Civil War who worked for her is insurmountable, and the probability of a more likely hero brings to light a romantic tension readers will totally envelope!

Back Cover: 
As owner of the 57th Illinois Watch Company, Mollie Knox's future looks bright until the night the legendary Great Chicago Fire destroys her beloved city. With her world crumbling around her, Mollie will do whatever it takes to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Kazmarek, an influential attorney for one of Chicago's finest department stores, is a force to be reckoned with among the city's most powerful citizens. Bold and shrewd, he's accustomed to getting exactly what he wants--until he meets Mollie Knox, the beguiling businesswoman just beyond his reach.

In the tumult as the people of Chicago race to rebuild a bigger and better city, Mollie comes face-to-face with the full force of Zack's character and influence. Zack believes this may finally be his chance to win her, but can Mollie ever accept this man and his whirlwind effect on her life, especially with her treasured company on the line?


If you enjoy the richness of authentic history sandwiched between romance and suspense then you'll love this novel, by Elizabeth Camden. It's real-to-life Chicago in 1871. You can hear the factories, the voices of  the people, the revival of a city and the underhanded dealings so authentically...Chicago.

Us Midwesterners love a good ol' Chicago story. So grab a slice of Chicago-style pizza and curl up with this book. You'll love it!

Oh yeah, and comment to win your own bonafide copy!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Caffea et Carpe Diem

Caffea et Carpe Diem...Coffee and Seize the Day!

Okay, I'm not really sure Caffea is the real Latin translation. Confession: I got the translation off Yahoo from some Italian guy with bad English who claimed to know Latin.

Tuesday was never going to have enough coffee in it to make it go smoothly. It's new moon here, but my quote of the day was: "it's full moon somewhere." Everything was complicated, including ending my day with  computer issues, to which I replied--in my uber-hormonal state--"in case anyone was wondering what would Jesus do if He were me--He'd turn my computer to wine!"

Wednesday was awesome. I drank coffee and edited all day. I'm also excited my son got his college application finished, and I washed a few windows (don't be impressed--they aren't that clean, just a little spit & polish). I really only washed them because my bum was so tired of sitting, and I wanted to enter it into MyFitnessPal so I could eat ice cream before bedtime!

So today, we shall seize the day--after a healthy shot of coffee. Because it's back to the real world I go--hi-ho, hi-ho, hi-ho!

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

TMI anyone?

Sometimes there's a thing called too much information ... or "TMI" in text-speak. I get too much information sometimes when I'm working a youth kid from church through a problem. Sometimes I get too much info from the newspaper - all biased, of course. ;) ;)

What ARE the standards for TMI in a world where we publish our lives on Twitter, blogs, and forums? My Facebook newsfeed is entertaining and I have probably have the smallest filter. But it's intriguing what we learn about people. Like: how many times someone threw up last night, how someone's heart will be broken if you ever bleep bleep bleep do that again, how tasty them thar carrots were fer supper, and how your jeans just split.

Is it TMI we text people we don't even know and sometimes date people virutally? In a world where modesty and privacy has been demoted to narrow-minded legalism and relationships in their most intimate forms are on prime time TV leaving little to my poor youth kids imaginations? I see how my youth kids at church are so USED to things that when I was 15 would have either knocked the socks off me or else I would have had no idea what was even being said? My one youth kid mentioned she was the only virgin in the girl's locker room and she was considered an oddity when even 15 years ago it would've at least been maybe halvsies at worst!! And they TALK about it and share it as though it's as commonplace as buying a new shirt at Aeropastale!

What is TMI? How do we monitor it? How do we monitor in our everyday life and how do we monitor it in our writing...or reading?  What are your thoughts on TMI today? I'm just mulling it over and thought I'd share ...

Last week's Wednesday Anniversary celebration winner is: Sarah B. "Booklover"!   Watch for an email Sarah!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Cousin Connection

This is a photo of my great great grandfather, Jonathan Gehman's farmstead in Brutus, Michigan.

My great grandmother Susie grew up here. I took this photo in 1994 when my daughter was born. Not far from here, Susie lived on the Maple River where the water was dammed and in the winter, my mother tells me they harvested the ice and stored it in the ice house covered in saw dust for the summer months. I still remember the flooded lake there--the memory that triggered the idea for the setting for my current novel.

I've been researching our family roots for several decades--a hobby since I was in junior high. I'm an avid member of Ancestry.com and I've even tested my DNA for genealogy research. This week on the DNA website, I connected with a lost Gehman cousin. He is a third cousin, once removed. My great grandma Susie was his grandfather's sister.

He tells a story that made me smile:
"My mother told me an early memory from her childhood in Michigan, that John had gone out in a snow storm to gather more wood, and was gone a long time. His wife, Beatrice, climbed up on the roof of the house, put her hands to her mouth like a megaphone, and called repeatedly, "Yoo-hoo, are ya all right, John?" Evidently he had become lost in the whiteness, and followed her voice home."

I laughed because I have a wonderful memory of hunting wild mushrooms with my grandmother Emma, Susie's daughter. I was quite small, perhaps 4 years old. She told me if I bent over too long and lost track of her, to just stand up and keep yelling "yoo-hoo!" Instead, I yelled "yooo-deee-hooo!" The story still gets retold to my children. Now I know it went back much farther, and perhaps was a local survival skill in the rural North Woods!

Another story about my great grandmother Susie that inspires me is that my mother recalls her working in the kitchen--always humming and singing hymns. Susie and her husband Elias had nine children. She also cared for her invalid brother, and her aging mother in their home. Plus they fed the extra farm hands. My mother calculated that for the fifteen mouths she fed three times a day---she made 45 plates of food every day---and she sang while she did it! My mother and I joke that her energy didn't quite reach our generation--I mean, I fed my family fast food twice the weekend!

Do you have some stories you should write down from your family history?
You might be surprised what you find out if you start interviewing your oldest living relative!

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter